On factfulness

Is it possible to be truly unbiased when telling “facts”? Is it possible to communicate without implying at least a hint of a Weltanschauung, of a value system, of a hypothesis? Without some kind, as messy as you want, of a priori? Not even the mathematicians succeed in that, let alone the rest of us. Also the highly-praised American factfulness is but the expression a civic and democratic duty to expose corruption in the best case, otherwise it is downright endorsement of the status quo, that is, hegemonic storytelling. Where is your objectivity now?

As a matter of course, we do have the falsifiability of a narrative, which basically means a disposition to be sifted in the light of experience; or the interminability of the hermeneutical process; and so on and so forth. But the bottom line is that nobody can ever communicate without taking a precise standing. Or, which amounts to the same thing, without fighting against those who take the opposite. Even if it were possible, it would basically imply a self-damnation to irrelevance.

Do you know what? This state of affairs, as far as I am concerned, is also a good thing: for the ultimate goal of communication (quoth Oriana Fallaci) is not telling things, but making them happen. The world that I hope to call home is one where people would be telling the facts that interest them through the filter of their own ideas, beliefs, prejudices, ideologies; where truth, never unique, would emerge as a fluctuating balance of divergent discourses.

First published on Eventual Consistency